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Year 16 - 2010

Season 2010 was one of mixed results for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.

In the NRL it was a disappointing year with just five wins and a 15th placing, while in the Toyota Cup competition and the Queensland Cup there was success and off the field the club's community-based operations received wide recognition.

On the NRL stage, however, it was a difficult year with no back-to-back wins in amongst the five victories and many of the losses were by eight points or less. In fact, on five occasions the losing margin was six points or less.

The traditional season opener against the Brisbane Broncos resulted in a hard fought 30-24 loss and gave no hint of the disappointing season that was to follow.

Good wins in round 2 and 4 had the Cowboys well in the competition by the fifth round, but from there on the season fell away, with the only other wins coming in round 9, 14 and 20.

In the Toyota Cup it was a different story with 14 wins and 3 draws resulting in a fourth place and a chance to compete in the finals for the first time. In fact, the young Cowboys led the competition for much of the season and this fourth placing was the best result achieved yet in the Toyota Cup competition.

In the Queensland Cup, the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys affiliate club the Northern Pride were victorious, defeating Brisbane Norths to take out the premiership for the first time.

Off the field the club tasted great success, including the prestigious NRL Telstra One Community Club of the Year award, presented by the NRL for the club's contribution to community initiatives throughout the north. Being a community-owned club, this was a most significant award.

Crowd figures at Dairy Farmers Stadium were slightly down on previous years, with the average home crowd averaging 14,340, about 3,000 less than the 2009 average. Average away crowd figures in 2010 were similar to the home crowds, at 14,058.

For some individual players it was also a year of triumph, with Willie Tonga, Johnathan Thurston and Matthew Scott all members of the record winning Queensland State of Origin squad for 2010.

Willie Tonga and Matt Scott also wore the Australian colours for the Four Nations tournament, while Johnathan Thurston missed out due to injury. For Tonga, 2010 was a year of personal triumph as he made both the Queensland and Australian sides for the first time since 2004.

Many players left or retired at the close of season 2010, the most significant being long-serving Luke O’Donnell (Huddersfield), Steve Southern (Newcastle), Ty Williams (retired) and Carl Webb (Parramatta). All four hold a special place in the club's history as they were members of the 2005 Grand Final squad.

New signings for 2011 include former North Queensland junior and Melbourne Storm / Le Catalans player Dallas Johnson, international centre Brent Tate, and Toyota Cup player of the year Tariq Sims.

Season statistics

  • Captain(s): Johnathan Thurston, Aaron Payne, Matt Scott
  • Coach: Neil Henry
  • Won 5, lost 19
  • Points for: 237; points against: 269
  • Top point scorer: Johnathan Thurston (95)
  • Finished: 15th
  • Player of the Year: Matthew Scott
  • Average home crowd: 14,430

    Representative players

  • Queensland State of Origin: Johnathan Thurston, Willie Tonga, Matt Scott
  • Australia: Willie Tonga, Matt Scott, Matthew Bowen
  • Papua New Guinea: Rodney Griffin (Northern Pride)